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Application of Virtue Ethics

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A former employee who was fired due to poor quality work, absences, and lateness related to her drinking problem informs you that she has applied for a position at another company and has already given your name as a reference. She desperately needs a job (she is a single parent with three children), and she asks you to give her a good recommendation and not mention her drinking, which she assures you is now under control. She also asks you to say that she voluntarily left the company to address a family medical crisis, and that the company was pleased with her work. You like this person and believe she is a good worker when she is not drinking. You doubt that she really has overcome her drinking problem, however, and you would not recommend your own company hire her back.

Consider this situation from a virtue ethics perspective. What virtues are at stake? Are some virtues at odds with one another?

Source: Balassone, J. (2011). Santa Clara University, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

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The solution provides an assessment of different virtues at stake with reference to the given situation and how different virtues are at odds with one another.

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